Monthly Archives: August 2022

WestJet to restore 17 sun routes to its network this winter

WestJet today celebrated the return of 17 sun routes to its network this winter. The returning routes which were suspended for more than two years, bring enhanced connectivity and vacation options for Canadians and communities across the airline’s network.

The airline today also announced new six-times weekly regional service between Penticton, B.C., and Vancouver beginning on February 17, 2023 on WestJet Link along with the restart of domestic connectivity between Edmonton and Nanaimo, B.C.

Highlights from WestJet’s winter schedule release:

Sun and Leisure, Transborder and Transatlantic:

  • Restart of 17 sun and leisure routes suspended since 2019
  • 45 per cent increase to sun and leisure flights from winter 2021
  • 60 per cent increase in transborder flights from winter 2021
  • 25 per cent increase in transatlantic flights from winter 2021

WestJet’s investments in sun, transborder and leisure flying are growing across the country with:

    • A 50% increase in flights from Central/Eastern Canada from winter 2021
    • A 55% increase in flights from Western Canada from winter 2021

Network-wide:

  • 65 per cent increase in flights to/from Winnipeg (YWG) from winter 2021
  • 50 per cent increase in flights to/from Edmonton (YEG) from winter 2021
  • 35 per cent increase in flights to/from Vancouver (YVR) from winter 2021
  • 30 per cent increase in flights to/from Calgary (YYC) from winter 2021
  • 10 per cent increase in flights to/from Toronto (YYZ) from winter 2021

Domestic:

  • New domestic connection between Vancouver and Penticton, B.C., on WestJet Link
  • Restart of Edmonton-Nanaimo route suspended since 2019
  • 25 per cent overall increase in flights network-wide domestically from winter 2021

Transborder Restarts:

Route Restart Date Peak Frequency Operated By
Kelowna – Phoenix November 16, 2022 1x Weekly WestJet
Saskatoon – Las Vegas November 10, 2022 2x Weekly WestJet
Saskatoon – Orlando* December 16, 2022 1x Weekly WestJet
Regina – Las Vegas November 10, 2022 2x Weekly WestJet
Regina – Orlando December 16, 2022 1x Weekly WestJet
Vancouver – Orlando November 12, 2022 1x Weekly WestJet
Winnipeg – Phoenix October 31, 2022 2x Weekly WestJet
St. John’s – Tampa Bay March 19, 2023 1x Weekly WestJet
*Operated on very limited basis in 2021

Carribean, Mexico, Central American Restarts:

Route Restart Date Peak Frequency Operated By
Calgary – Belize City November 18, 2022 1x Weekly WestJet
Calgary – Nassau November 26, 2022 1x weekly WestJet
Calgary – Varadero November 5, 2022 1x Weekly WestJet
Comox – Puerto Vallarta November 5, 2022 1x Weekly WestJet
Ottawa – Montego Bay November 12, 2022 2x Weekly WestJet
Regina – Cancun* November 13, 2022 2x Weekly WestJet
Toronto – Cayo Coco November 5, 2022 1x Weekly WestJet
Toronto – Samana December 17, 2022 1x Weekly WestJet
Winnipeg – Montego Bay December 17, 2022 1x Weekly WestJet
*Operated on very limited basis in 2021

Domestic Routes:

Route Start Date Frequency Operated by
Vancouver – Penticton* February 17, 2023 6x Weekly WestJet Link
Edmonton – Nanaimo October 30, 2022 3x Weekly WestJet Encore
*new route

WestJet aircraft photo gallery:

Flair to move its L.A. operations from Hollywood/Burbank to LAX, adds Toronto – Cancun service

Flair Airlines is adding another exciting route to its Mexico network with service to Cancun from Toronto. Twice weekly service will connect Torontonians to Cancun, nonstop. There will also be additional frequencies added on several Mexico routes.

Flair is also moving its Los Angeles operations from Hollywood/Burbank Airport to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), effective October 31, 2022.

Toronto to Cancun is now one of eight Mexican routes, joining service to Cancun from Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa. Travellers can also fly to Los Cabos from Abbotsford, Edmonton, and Vancouver (with increased frequency from 2x weekly to 3x weekly), as well as the newly added Puerto Vallarta routes from Edmonton and Vancouver this fall which will be increased from 1x weekly to 4x weekly.

Service to Los Angeles begins on October 31 from Edmonton (3x weekly) and November 1 from Vancouver (4x weekly).

Route Map:

Flair Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Air Serbia breaks record for monthly passenger numbers in July

Air Serbia issued this report:

During July, Air Serbia has carried over 400,000 passengers on regular and charter flights through its base airport in Belgrade and airports in Niš and Kraljevo. This is the most passengers the airline has carried in one month since October 2013, since it operates under current name. The number of passengers carried in July is up 47% compared to July 2021, when the Serbian national airline carried a total of 276,191 passengers. Passenger numbers are also up 9% compared to record-setting pre-pandemic 2019, when Air Serbia carried 372,839 passengers.

Air Serbia expects that the number of its passengers in July this year will make up over 55 percent of the total number of passengers who travelled via Airport Nikola Tesla Belgrade.

“The results we achieved in July are a good indicator that we made correct and timely business decisions when it comes to scheduling for this summer season. Here I primarily mean the strategic launching of new routes to tourist destinations, including those in Italy and Spain, which were most popular among passengers in the summer season. This result is also a consequence of additional growth of charter traffic by approximately 37% this season, compared to 2019. We will continue to keep a close eye on market demands, and boost our capacities on most popular routes in our network and we are certain that the stable growth trend will continue in the coming months”, said Boško Rupić, General Manager Commercial and Strategy.

Attractive summer destinations are seeing a big uptick in passenger numbers compared to July last year, and traffic has grown by 172% to Barcelona, 133% to Larnaca, 128% to Dubrovnik and 62% to Athens.

Belgrade-Madrid route, which was suspended last year because of the pandemic, immediately upon renewal reached the 2019 levels.

There is big demand year-round for destinations like London, which has seen a 151% growth in passenger numbers, Zurich with 87% growth, Istanbul with 43%, Berlin with 40% and New York with 27%. Increased mobility of diaspora from European cities towards the region is followed by growth on regional routes, as Sarajevo has seen growth of 67%, Skopje 71%, Ljubljana 35% and Zagreb 52%, compared to last year.

Air Serbia aircraft photo gallery:

Mango loses its licenses

Mango Airlines has lost its operating licenses due to its inactivity in South Africa.

The Air Services Licensing Council on August 3 suspended Mango’s licenses “for a period of two years, effective immediately, as Mango has not operated the licensed air services for an uninterrupted period exceeding 12 months”.

The airline suspended operations on July 27, 2021 and has not been able to find investors to resume operations.

Previously on December 2, 2021 the grounded airline issued this update:

Mango is pleased that the amended business rescue plan has been adopted by creditors and the shareholder. The business rescue practitioner will now proceed to implement the business rescue plan, with the key deliverable being the completion of the process to solicit a preferred bidder to conclude the acquisition of Mango.
The investor process, including the relevant guidelines and process to be followed by interested parties, is available on the Company website in the business rescue tab. It is anticipated that the process to secure a successful bidder, inclusive of concluding the relevant acquisition agreements, will be completed by the end of March 2022.
Mr. Sipho Sono
Business Rescue Practitioner

 

Mango aircraft photo gallery:

Korean Air posts an operating profit of $569.2 million in the fiscal second quarter

Korean Air issued this financial report:

● Korean Air achieved a revenue of KRW 3.3324 trillion (USD $2.5775 billion) and an operating profit of KRW 735.9 billion (USD $569.2 million) in the second fiscal quarter. Despite continued high oil prices and volatile exchange rates over the course of the second quarter, the airline’s gradual recovery in passenger demand and robust cargo demand led to improved results year-on-year.

● Growing travel demand due to dropping COVID cases and borders reopening led the airline to post KRW 874.2 billion in passenger revenue in the second quarter, a 307% year-on-year increase.

● Korean Air recorded a cargo revenue of KRW 2.1712 trillion, a 44% increase year-on-year. While the prolonged war in Ukraine and the lockdowns in China continued to disrupt the global logistics supply chain into Q2, the airline managed to maximize profit by actively transporting high-demand emergency relief supplies, automobile parts, semiconductors and electronics.

● The airline expects passenger traffic to recover slower than originally forecasted in the second half of the year, as external factors such as the pandemic and oil prices linger. The airline seeks to gradually increase its passenger network capacity to 50% of pre-pandemic levels by September, and will continue to respond flexibly to demand.

● With the resumption of passenger services following border reopenings, the airline expects to procure additional air cargo capacity through passenger fleet belly cargo space. The airline looks to maximize profit by utilizing scheduled passenger services; operating routes based on regional demand and capacity fluctuations; and through fleet optimization.

● Despite intensified global inflation and economic contraction, Korean Air is committed to normalizing its passenger business and to maximizing its cargo business profit.

Korean Air aircraft photo gallery:

airBaltic to operate up to six Airbus A220-300s for Swiss under a wet-lease agreement

Swiss International Air Lines has made this announcement:

SWISS has agreed to a collaboration with Air Baltic of Latvia for the coming winter timetable period.

The partnership is intended to further stabilize SWISS’s flight schedules and provide even more reliability for its customers’ travel plans. It should also further ease the present pressures on the company’s cabin personnel.

The collaboration envisages Air Baltic operating up to six Airbus A220-300 aircraft on SWISS’s behalf under a wet-lease agreement.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) plans to collaborate with Air Baltic of Latvia in the coming winter timetable period. The collaboration will take the form of a wet-lease agreement (i.e. the lease-in of both aircraft and crew) under which Air Baltic will perform SWISS flights on SWISS’s behalf. The services concerned will be operated by up to six of Air Baltic’s highly advanced and CO2-efficient Airbus A220-300 aircraft, which seat up to 145 passengers. SWISS itself operates 21 such twinjets. The Air Baltic aircraft will perform flights throughout the SWISS European route network which had previously been planned for SWISS’s own operation.

Irrespective of this development, SWISS will continue to steadily recruit and train more of its own cabin personnel. The new collaboration with Air Baltic is also viewed as a complement to SWISS’s existing partnership with Helvetic Airways. On the latter front, in addition to the six Helvetic aircraft already operated all year round on SWISS’s behalf, further Helvetic Airways equipment may also be flexibly deployed on SWISS routes in future to cover peaks in demand.

 

Akasa Air launches operations in India

Akasa Air operated it inaugural flight this morning in India. Flight QP1101 departed from Mubai to Ahmedabad.

Thye new airline made this announcement:

Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, today (August 7) commenced its commercial operations with its first flight taking off from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, bound for Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. The maiden flight took off from Mumbai at 10:05 am with a scheduled arrival at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at 11:25 am.

As a symbolic gesture to mark the occasion during the ceremony, Akasa Air’s boarding pass was handed over to the Honourable Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia-ji and the Honourable Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, General (Dr) V. K Singh-ji. Both guests-of-honour addressed the gathering and officially flagged off the event. The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis-ji extended his wishes on the commencement of Akasa Air’s operations while addressing the gathering. The ceremony was also graced by the Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation Shri Rajiv Bansal-ji and Joint Secretary(J), Ministry of Civil Aviation Smt. Usha Padhee-ji.

Starting today, Akasa Air will offer weekly flights between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Progressively adding cities and routes to its network, the airline has already announced a total of five routes along five cities, including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Bengaluru and Chennai.

With a fleet induction plan of two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft each month, the airline is looking to establish a strong pan-India presence, with a focus on metro to tier 2 & 3 route connectivity. The fleet size will be raised to 18 aircraft by the end of March 2023 and over the next four years, the airline will add 54 aircraft, taking its total fleet size to 72.

 

IAM-represented employees at Alaska Airlines ratify two-year contract extension

Alaska Airlines’ airport customer service agents, stores, cargo, ground service and reservations agents, who are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), have ratified a two-year contract extension. The contract passed overwhelmingly and includes increased pay with market reviews to ensure wage rates stay competitive, as well as increases in longevity pay. Job security has also been extended until Sept. 27, 2028.

Alaska’s airport customer service agents, stores, cargo, ground service and reservation agents are responsible for assisting guests with upcoming and day-of travel, managing aircraft material and parts, loading cargo and readying aircraft for departures and arrivals.

The previous contract became amendable on Sept. 27, 2024. Contracts in the airline industry do not expire. Once they become amendable, the current contract remains in effect until a new agreement is ratified.

Hans Airways’ first Airbus A330-200 arrives in the U.K.

Hans Airways, the UK’s new long-haul airline readying to fly to India, celebrated the arrival of its first Airbus A330-200 on UK soil this week.

The first aircraft is Airbus A330-202 registered as G-KJAS (msn 950).

The aircraft touched down from Palma Airport, Mallorca to Birmingham International Airport on August 2, welcomed by CEO Satnam Saini, COO Nathan Burkitt and CCO Martin Dunn for Hans Airways, ahead of formal technical handover and technical acceptance signing with the lessor.

Hans Airways has partnered with maintenance and repair overhaul specialist STS Aviation Services for Re-Registration tasks and Entry into service modifications ahead of its important route-proving flight for the UK Civil Aviation Authority in the coming weeks. The A330 will fly as newly re-registered G-KJAS.

Since 2020, Hans Airways has maintained a close dialogue with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on its progress. Prior to arriving in Palma, the aircraft underwent a thorough 200-hour inspection in Abu Dhabi (UAE) by Etihad Engineering (work previously contracted by its former airline operator, Air Europa). The aircraft was required to return to Spain, its original country of registration for final contractual, administration, financial transfer and customs clearance. In Palma work included a final internal inspection of the engines and rectification of any defect identified on the airworthiness and positioning flight.

First Hans Airways Airbus A330-200 arrives in United Kingdom

“Our first widebody Airbus arriving into the UK is a big and significant milestone on Hans Airways’ journey to launch,” said CEO Satnam Saini. These past 12 months we are very pleased to have added a wealth of competence and experience to our leadership and management team and recruited and trained up a full complement of exceptional pilots and cabin crew who will be ready to fly as soon as the airline’s AOC is awarded.

“We are delighted STS has been selected as a long-term key maintenance supplier to support Hans Airways’ Airbus A330,” stated Colby Payne, Head of Sales for STS. “As a result of this partnership, we have accepted the first aircraft for a maintenance visit at our state of the art, wide-body aircraft MRO facility in Birmingham and look forward to supporting Hans Airways with further projects as its growth continues.”

First Hans Airways Airbus A330-200 arrives in United KingdomAmritsar / Golden Temple will be its first route

Once it has its AOC, together with similar accreditation from India’s DGCA, Hans Airways is planning an initial four times weekly service from Birmingham to Amritsar in North India. Amritsar is a major commercial and cultural centre in the heart of Punjab. The city is the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion and home to the Harmandir Sahib, famously known as the Golden Temple.

As Hans Airways finalizes slots and timetable, it plans to operate ACMI / charter services, which will help with crew training ahead of the scheduled service operation, Satnam Saini said.

About Hans Airways

Hans Airways is the UK’s newest hybrid, long-haul airline venture, blending value for money fares with a quality inflight service offering. Hans Airways will offer two classes of cabins: Economy class with a 31-inch seat pitch and 274 seats, and Premium Economy (called “Anand Plus”), offering a 56″ pitch and 24 seats. It will offer high quality complementary inflight entertainment and catering as standard.